P&O Pioneer ferry to debut with freight-only sailing Dover-Calais

   June 12, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

According to the timetables of P&O Ferries, the company's newest ship in the Dover Strait - P&O Pioneer, will soon start revenue operations.

The innovative China-built ferryboat, which can travel in both directions, is scheduled to have its first voyage exclusively for freight from Dover (England UK) to Calais (France) at 3:10 am on Monday, June 19th. Its first journey carrying passengers is scheduled for 8:25 pm on the same day, also from Dover to Calais.

P&O Pioneer is not only the largest double-ended ferry in the world but also the most technologically advanced vessel on the English Channel. P&O Ferries claims that it will consume 40% less fuel than previous ships, significantly reducing its environmental impact.

Built by GSI in China based on a design by the Danish OSK Group, P&O Pioneer recently underwent berthing trials in Calais starting on June 4th. Subsequently, it underwent berthing trials in Dover the following day.

P&O Pioneer is replacing Pride of Kent in the P&O fleet. Pride of Kent completed its service on the route on June 4th with a sailing from Calais to Dover and is currently docked at the Kent port.

The future of Pride of Kent is uncertain, but it seems likely that it has made its final voyage for P&O Ferries, assuming all goes as planned with P&O Pioneer. The sistership of P&O Pioneer, called P&O Liberte, is expected to begin operating before the end of the year, replacing Pride of Canterbury.

If another operator is not found for Pride of Kent and Pride of Canterbury, there is a possibility that both ferries could be sold for recycling.